More than 12,000 barista positions are currently advertised on Seek.com.au nationwide, and Perth has 1000 positions vacant.
Accounts manager at Dimattina coffee Jonathan Parkes says there is a huge shortage of baristas in Perth at the moment.
“That is the trend definitely in Perth at the moment,” he says.
Head of coffee at Offshoot Coffee and Mary Street bakery Rie Moustakas says they are barely getting any resumes for the positions they’re trying to fill.
“Pre-COVID times, we used to get a lot of resumes handed in every day at all stores. If we put an ad up online we would get a lot of responses so we had our pick of baristas. Since COVID times with the border closures, job keeper/job seeker it’s been very hard to find good baristas.”
She says the shortage is multi-faceted but it’s partly because, due to the pandemic, there are no backpackers.
“It is traditionally a job that a lot of travellers fill.”
Mr Parkes says the art of coffee making is often seen as something people do while travelling or studying, rather than a recognised profession.
“It’s not something people think of as their career or their main goal” Mr Parkes says.
“As such, it’s not got a recognised training program.”
Change Please is a social enterprise that gives homeless people training and employment as baristas in the hope of giving them the necessary skills and start to find work in the coffee industry.
Change Please Australia general manager Daniel Grochowski says the organisation aims to help get homeless people off the streets and into employment.
“We want to get people skilled and onwards into employment, so we support them with writing resumes and getting into our onward employment partners which there’s currently 21 venues we work with,” he says.
“We certainly see the lack of skills in the industry and we’re almost like a travelling and self-evolving training academy.”
Mr Grochowski says the goal for this year is to train eight to twelve people, with four moving into continuing employment.
Change Please has one cart in Perth but are hoping to expand.
Mr Grochowski says the organisation needs more support to open new carts.
“The view is to expand to Sydney and Melbourne once we get the model right,” he says.